Big Kids Club
A story by Cornerstone
Cornerstone’s Big Kids Club has provided 5 weeks of holiday playscheme throughout the last 7 months, divided into 1 week in the Easter holidays, 3 weeks in the summer holidays and 1 week in the October holidays. During these sessions the teenagers have enjoyed many activities such as go- karting, cinema, swimming, Alford motor museum, the beach, Duffus castle, grass sledging, the Falconry Centre, woodland walks, exotic animals and art therapy sessions. This has resulted in quality respite for families and carers due to the fun and engaging activities provided.
Tip 1:Flexible structure based on the individual needs of young people and carers and to ensure appropriate staffing and resources.
Tip 2:Regular and recorded evaluation to ensure the service is meeting its aims and objectives. It is important that we recognised the voice of young peoepl and carers in order to meet the aims and objectives of the project. This also help determine what went well and how we can improve.
Tip 3:Full consultation with carers and young people to ensure their needs are being met and they are fully included
At the beginning of play scheme the teenagers were given a choice of two activities, Callum chose to go to the motor museum, this was fully supported and praised by staff as this was a new activity for Callum and he struggles with new areas. Callum had lots of fun at the motor museum and coped extremely well with visiting a new area; this in turn improved his confidence and gave him great achievement.
Emily is a young lady with multiple support needs and learning support needs. Emily is a very sociable and energetic young lady and has made lots of friends during both clubs and at play schemes. The holiday club gives Emily an opportunity to meet new friends and build on relationships alongside taking part in activities that use up some of her energy helping her to sleep better at night. An example of a day in play scheme for Emily involved going swimming with her friends in the morning having lots of fun and getting some exercise too. On return to Kestrel House Emily sat with the group to have her packed lunch with the group after working up a healthy appetite. In the afternoon we had a visit from BUG MAN!! . Emily had great fun holding all the different animals and although she had never held a snake before she had no fear and couldn’t wait to tell her mum when she picked her up at the end of the day.
Laura attended play scheme today very happy and excited telling us how she has been looking forward to going go karting today. Laura had an excellent time taking part in this activity with her peers and has asked to go back again as she enjoyed it so much. Go karting was planned for the next play scheme for Laura as everyone had such a fantastic time.
One mum indicated in her questionnaire response that it was difficult for her to access care for her son during holidays as most local leisure / activity schemes could not accommodate her sons needs in a safe and productive way. Thus he slot social contact during holidays and she was tied to the house or had to try and provide some activities herself. This meant there was no respite break for her or her other children. She felt that the environment was safe for her son and the continuity of staff allowed her son to form relationships which in turn gave her peace of mind for a few hours a day.
At the end of the summer playscheme one mum asked to speak to the team leader to let her know how important the break had been to her family. She said staff had all been kind, caring and enthusiastic and were all very approachable and keen to listen whenever she had wanted to speak. She felt staff took both hers and her daughters needs and interests to heart and used this to plan activities which her daughter would enjoy and learn from.
Carers can maintain routines and have opportunities for respite from the caring role and a life outside of this, improving well-being. It allows for coping better outwith holiday times, enabling time with other family members and be better supported to sustain their caring role and less likely to reach crisis point
Carers and young people will determine the kind of short break they need, ensuring regular engagement with the project. Evaluations through questionnaires and 1-1 consultations, both individually and groups take place at the start and after each block, carers and young people will be consulted regarding the design of the project and any changes made.
After consultation, the majority of carers indicated they face challenges in the holidays and would benefit from holiday provision by maintaining young peoples routine and social activities. Funding would support this, giving carers valuable free time and meet the strategic aims of National and Local legislation.
The project is in line with the Governments strategy for supporting children as outlined in GIRFEC. The project will contribute to the well-being indicators featured of: nurtured, active, respected, achieving, healthy, responsible and included. The activities provide will promote choice for young people and involve them in the project design to include their interests.
Carers made friends and met up for mutual support and were keen to see what was going to be offered in future playschemes and how they could become involved.
We divided the days according to need as decided in partnership with social work referrals.
Advertised our service through the local authority
Word of mouth and local businesses.
• We have staff feedback at the end of each session
• Questionnaires – need to be evaluated and feedback given
• 1-1 and group consultation regarding design and changes